Parameters affecting the analytical profile of fatty acids in the macroalgal genus Ulva
The fatty acids (FA) of Ulva have potential to contribute to nutrition. However the large variability of FA profiles of Ulva species; thus the quality and quantity of FA in relation to nutrition is poorly defined. Herein we investigate the FA profile of 74 cultured Ulva samples crossing five culture regimes, six extraction regimes and four post-harvesting processes. This is compared alongside a comprehensive review of FA profiles of Ulva spp. With regard to the literature, Ulva is characterised by C16:0 (30.5 ± 11.5%), C18:3 n-3 (14.5 ± 6.3%), C18:4 n-3 (12.5 ± 5.4%), C16:4 n-3 (8.9 ± 4.8%) and C18:1 n-7 (10.1 ± 4.0%). The investigated Ulva fell within the reported range of specific FA. High nutrient conditions showed the most desirable FA profile for health, along with the highest total FA content (56 mg g−1 dry weight equivalent) when extracted with an optimised protocol.